Skip to main content

tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  June 12, 2013 5:00pm-8:01pm EDT

5:00 pm
5:01 pm
5:02 pm
5:03 pm
5:04 pm
5:05 pm
5:06 pm
5:07 pm
5:08 pm
5:09 pm
5:10 pm
5:11 pm
5:12 pm
5:13 pm
5:14 pm
5:15 pm
5:16 pm
5:17 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 194. the nays are 230. the motion is not adopted. the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the gentlelady from california. ms. waters: i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
5:18 pm
5:19 pm
5:20 pm
5:21 pm
5:22 pm
5:23 pm
5:24 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 301. the nays are 124. the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from california, mr. lamalfa, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1038 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 76. h.r. 1038, a bill to provide
5:25 pm
equal treatment for utility special entities using utility operations-related swaps, and or other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
5:26 pm
5:27 pm
5:28 pm
5:29 pm
5:30 pm
5:31 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the eas are 420 --
5:32 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the yeas are 423, the nays are zero. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended.
5:33 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order.
5:34 pm
the speaker pro tempore: if you have conversations, take them outside of the chamber. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. mckeon: i ask that all members have five legislative days to insert extraneous material on h.r. 1960. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 256 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole for the state of the union for consideration of h.r.
5:35 pm
1960. the chair appoints the gentleman from arkansas, mr. womack, to preside over the committee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house for the state of the union for consideration of the bill h.r. 1960, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2014 for military activities for the department of defense and for military construction to prescribe military personnel strength for such fiscal year and for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule the bill is considered read for the first time. the gentleman from california, mr. mckeon, and the gentleman from washington, mr. smith, each will control 30 minutes. he house will be in order.
5:36 pm
members are asked to take their onversations from the floor. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mckeon: i rise in support of h.r. 1960, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2014, which overwhelmingly passed the committee on armed services. in keeping with the committee's tradition of bipartisanship, ranking member smith and i worked to produce this bill and sole is ted input from each of our members. we already adopted 169 amendments during markup and look forward to debate on the floor. the legislation advances our national security objectives, provides support and although
5:37 pm
gist particular call resources for our war fighters and helps 21st ted states the century challenges. $25.2 billion in the base budget and authorizes another $85.8 billion for overseas contingency operations consistent with the house budget and the bill contains no earmarks. of critical importance, the bill takes serious and significant steps to end the crisis of sexual assault in our military. this includes stripping the commanders of their authority to dismiss a finding by a court martial, prohibiting commanders from reducing guilty findings to lesser offenses, establishing minimum sentencing requirements for sexual assault, extending whistle blower protection to those who report rape, sexual assault or other sexual
5:38 pm
misconduct and other vital measures. based on the years of work and oversight our committee has done on this critical issue, i share senator levin's reluctance to remove the commander. the only way to change the culture is to hold commanders responsible and accountable for their actions and decisions. elsewhere in the bill, despite historic cuts to our armed forces, we prevent military readiness shortfalls from becoming a readiness emergency. we restore flying hours for the army and air force quad drons and direct money to reset equipment returning from afghanistan and relieve some of the military's backlogs and the bill provides our war fighters with resources and authorities they need to win the war in afghanistan and to pressure al qaeda and its affiliates. we fully fund a series of
5:39 pm
important authorities that support the transition in afghanistan and u.s. national security interests. however, we prohibit the use of the majority of those funds until the secretary of defense certifies that u.s. priorities have been accommodated in a bilateral security agreement. we made controlling costs a top priority. however, the marked guards against achieving false short-term savings at the expense of vital long-term strategic capabilities. for example, we prohibit the premature retirement of navy cruisers and amphibious assault ships, critical vessels that are vital to the pacific-focused strategy. the bill continues investments and oversight for key systems while preserving our capacity to meet future challenges. the bill continues our care for our war fighters, veterans and their families, with the support
5:40 pm
they earned through their service and it mandates fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability within the department of defense. the bill reduces the number of eneral officer billets and reduces redid you understand dancies. for 51 straight years, the authorization act has been signed into law. congress has no higher responsibility to provide for the common defense and with that in mind i look forward to passing this bill for the 52nd consecutive year. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: i yield myself four minutes. the chair: without objection. mr. smith: i thank the chairman and the committee and staff. always this time of year our staff never sleeps and we once again worked in a very
5:41 pm
bipartisan fashion, worked the bill through the process, series of hearings, the markup last week and i thank the chairman for his excellent leadership and continuing that bipartisan tradition in the hopes for the 52nd straight year getting our bill done. i appreciate working with him and all the members of the committee and the staff of the this bill overall sets the right priorities, i believe. it makes sure that our military is funded, that our troops get the equipment and support that they need to carry out the missions that we ask them to do and that is something general dempsey says all the time. we will do what you ask us to do, just provide us with the resources. whatever missions we decide, it's our obligation to make sure that it's funded. i believe this bill does that. it prioritizes special operations forces, intelligence surveillance and reckon nissance and the equipment we need to our challenges on national security. and as the chairman mentioned, it takes steps on the sexual
5:42 pm
assault problem. i will say that no piece of legislation is going to fix this. the military needs to change its culture and prioritize the protection of our men and women in our services. this legislation will help, but this is a huge crisis right now that the military has not yet stepped up to and one of the most important challenges we face in national security. this piece of legislation also recognizes that we are still at war. it funds the ongoing effort in afghanistan. makes sure that our troops have the support to carry out that mission. however, there are a couple of things in the bill that i am concerned about. i believe that we do need to close guantanamo and i have an amendment before the rules committee which i hope will be made in order to set us on the process to do that. i don't agree with people who say we need to close it tomorrow, we need a plan. it requires a plan within 60 days. i continue to be concerned that the president has the power to
5:43 pm
indefinitely detain any person captured in the united states who is designated to be an enemy combatant. that is a level of executive power that i do not think is necessary and as we have seen in recent weeks, people are concerned that the growing power that the executive branch has and it is worth mentioning sequestration. this bill is marked to a level that assumes sequestration will not happen. i think that's appropriate. that's where we are at and what we have to do, but it points up the challenge of sequestration. if sequestration happens, this bill is going to be cut between $40 billion and $50 billion. how would we make that work? mindless across-the-board cuts. the sad truth is, that's the likely outcome. no path out of sequestration that we have seen. i thank the chame for his leadership and continually bringing home how important this is, but we haven't gotten there
5:44 pm
yet. and we need to keep emfasizzing that and with that i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i yield three minutes to the vice chairman of the house armed services committee, the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: i appreciate the chairman yielding and i think the first thing that should be said that it is a tremendous credit to the chairman and the ranking member that we are where we are today. it may be true that for 51 straight years a defense authorization bill has been signed into law, but does president make it easy to do number 52. there are still a number of complex and even some controversial issues. and so to have this bill before us today coming out of the committee on a vote that is so strong, i think is truly a credit to the leadership of the
5:45 pm
chairman and the ranking member and the staff, who have worked very well together. i also want to express particular appreciation to the ranking member on our subcommittee, mr. language begin, because that, -- langevin, because that has been a partnership in dealing with complex issues including cyber security, science and technology and military intelligence issues. one of the key priorities for us on this subcommittee has been oversight. and if you think back two years ago in this bill, we instituted a quarterly reporting requirement for certain counterterrorism strategies involving special operations. we have a reporting requirement on cyberoperations and this year, there is a reporting requirement involving sensitive military operations including lethal and capture operations that is designed for oversight before, just after and in a
5:46 pm
broader sense after these events have occurred. oversight is a critical and important part in everything the committee does especially in these complex areas. . science and technology, takes important steps forward in helping this country to be safer. i will note i find it strange the administration seems to oppose requiring the defense clan des ion service to focus -- clandestine service to focus on defense priorities. that's what we require in this bill and somehow that gives the administration heartburn. i hope we can continue to have conversations with them about it because that seems to me that's what a defense clandestine service should be focused on. there are other priorities here dealing with chem-biodefense and the threat defense agency
5:47 pm
dealing with some of the things going on in the media today, think of syria. it's taken a lot of work to get to this point. we have a lot of debate to come. something to important, so complex has come to the floor with such overwhelming bipartisan support. we'll have differences, but i hope and trust we'll leave the floor in the same way. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentlelady from california, the ranking member on the airland subcommittee, ms. sanchez. the chair: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for 1/2 minutes. ms. sanchez: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to first begin by implementing the chairman of the tactical land and air forces, chairman mike turner. he has really been a delight to work with and his steady and thoughtful leadership has really allowed us to, i
5:48 pm
believe, make a good mark in this bill. under his leadership, the tactical air and land force subcommittee worked in a very bipartisan fashion. and we developed a set of oversight legislation and funding recommendation that i think really looks at cutting waste, shaping programs and making sure that our men and women in our military are ready to go. first, the subcommittee's portion of h.r. 1960 supports many of the high-priority recommendations and desires of the president's budget. h.r. -- for example, h.r. 1960 provides $8.1 billion for the s-35, joint strike fighter program, $4.5 billion for army aviation upgrades, $3.2 billion for 21 ea-18-g upgrades. $1.4 billion for the v-22 and
5:49 pm
$1.3 billion for the u.s. marine corps ground equipment. in addition, the armed services committee increased funding in some parts of the d.o.d. budget that came from the president where we felt there were inadequate funds. specifically the bill provides an additional $400 million for the national guard and reserve equipment account and adds funding for an additional f-100 engines by $165 million, increases advanced procurement funding for 29 navy s-18 aircraft by $75 million. beyond these funding increases, i want to point out that we made reductions. over $463 million worth of reductions in this funding bill, and it's never easy to reduce or to cut programs, but i think we did a very good job in making sure that as we move forward we will have the
5:50 pm
systems that we need. and finally, h.r. 1960 includes important oversight legislation especially for the f-35 joint stryke fighter, for the ground combat vehicle, for the stryker vehicle and for body armor for men and women. of our military. all of these provisions are good government and i look forward -- good governs and i look forward to voting for this bill. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: i yield to the gentleman from virginia, mr. wittman. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for three minutes. mr. wittman: i want to thank chairman mckeon and ranking member smith for bringing this bill together, bringing people together for making this happen. i want to thank the ranking member of the readiness subcommittee, madelyn bordallo, and thank you -- madeline
5:51 pm
bordallo. today i rise in strong support of h.r. 1960, the fiscal year 2014 national defense authorization act. while this bill will not fix all of the nation's readiness challenges, it does go far in addressing depleted force readiness levels and associated levels of assumed risk. specifically, the bill prohibits the department from proposing, planning or initiating another round of base realignment and closer commission elements. a measure that's critical in my -- closure commission elements, a measure that's critical in my view. this bill helps our military members by restoring vital readiness accounts, such as the army and air force flying programs, increased funding for facilities sustainment, ncreasing funding for army depot maintenance and ship
5:52 pm
maintenance and prohibiting the retirement of amphibs and cruisers they planned to retire 10 to 15 years early. ith budget cuts, readiness rates remain at readiness levels and these levels are unacceptably low. in our warfighters are at risk and we need to make sure we put dollars back to make sure that readiness of our armed forces does not in any way suffer. we want to make sure that our men and women have what they need, making sure they continue to have overwhelming superiority in the battlefield. that's what this nation has always done. it's our obligation to make sure that that continues. while we've restored the air force and army flying hours programs and bolstered facilities and depo maintenance, we need to focus on readiness challenges in the months and years to come and those readiness challenges will continue, especially as we
5:53 pm
retrograde from afghanistan and reset our force. we cannot forget the need to maintain readiness. as i close, mr. chairman, i want to thank the members of the subcommittee and the staff for their unyielding support for the men and women of our military. our nation faces many challenges as this bill makes clear, and i want to remind this chamber that we owe a debt of gratitude to those who selflessly serve our nation, those who volunteer to put themselves in harm's way. that's what mation our nation great. we owe them the -- that's what makes our nation great. we owe them to getting this done in their best interest. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from north carolina, the ranking member on the sea -- the gentleman from north carolina, the ranking member on the sea power subcommittee, for three minutes. the chair: the gentleman is ecognized for three minutes. >> i want to rise in favor of
5:54 pm
this and thank my colleagues, chairman mckeeon, ranking member smith for making sure this bipartisan measure will be done the right way and to help our men and women in uniform. mr. mcintyre: i'm pleased this bill strengthens our national defense, supports north carolina military bases with a $355 million investment in military construction and makes key investments across the nation to help make sure that our service men and women have the tools they need to do their job. this measure authorized $552 billion for national defense trength and $885.8 billion for overseas contingency operations. it also, in supporting current law, which has an annual increase in troop pay and rejects proposals to increase some tricare fees or establish new tricare fees which many service members and veterans have long been concerned about. i'm also pleased this committee made sexual assault prevention and prosecution a cornerstone of this legislation, and i'm
5:55 pm
particularly pleased that this bill includes an amendment authored by my good friend and colleague across the aisle, representative walter jones, a fellow north carolinaian, to protect the religious freedom of military chaplains to be able to close the prayer according to the dictates of their conscience and faith and training. the committee also included an important inclusion to require peer oddic audits of contract and compliance by the d.o.d. inspector general. and i can tell you as ranking member of the sea power and projection forces subcommittee, i'd like to thank my colleague, chairman randy forbes, for his work on our section of the bill. the sea power portion of the bill carefully cuts waste in some programs while also improving congress' ability to oversee the d.o.d. it includes provisions for the gerald ford class aircraft carrier, multiyear procurement language for e-2-d and smbings c-130-j aircraft and several other provisions that provide additional oversight of important programs, including two of the navy's largest unmanned aircraft programs.
5:56 pm
it also gives the d.o.d. permission to begin retirement f some old kc-131 aircraft that had been in storage for years and the kc-46-a coming online, its own cost -- it's on cost and on schedule, two phrases we'd love to hear not only in the committee but also on behalf of our taxpayers. i'm glad we're giving d.o.d. more flexibility in these tough budget times to manage its inventory of aircraft. also, the sea power portion has $14.3 billion for shipbuilding that would authorize a total of eight new ships. it authorizes $934 million of ship construction funding to ensure that the virginia class submarine, ddg-1000 class destoyier and joint high speed vessel programs stay on schedule. and with regard to the aircraft programs, this bill fully funds the administration's request for all major aircraft programs in our jurisdiction, including the air force's new bomber program. the seapower portion of this
5:57 pm
budget, being on budget and on time is something i know we can all support and it's clear this entire bill is one that has strong bipartisan support and i urge my colleagues to support it. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: mr. chairman, i yield three minutes to my friend and colleague, the chairman of the subcommittee on military personnel, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. wilson. the chair: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for three minutes. mr. wilson: thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, mr. speaker. the military personnel provisions of h.r. 1960 are the product of an open, bipartisan process. h.r. 1960 provides our war fighters, veterans and military families the care and support they need, deserve and have earned. specifically, this year's proposal reforms the way the department of defense must address sexual assault in the uniformed code of military justice and provides significant additional support, especially in the form of
5:58 pm
dedicated legal assistance and whistleblower protection to victims of this terrible crime. in addition, the mark would support the service's requested in strength while ensuring the army and marine corps adhere to the limitation on reductions mandated in the national defense authorization act of fiscal year 2013. it reaffirms the committee's commitment to the operational reserves by requiring minimum notification before deployment or cancellation of deployment and provides authority to improve the personal -- personnel readiness of the national guard. this also requires the secretary of defense to review and make improvements to the integrated disability evaluation system for members of the reserve components, and further authorizes transitional compensation and other benefits for dependents of a service member who is separated from the armed forces because of a court marshal and forfeits all pay and benefits.
5:59 pm
this does not include the request for military retirees to pay more for health care. in conclusion, i want to thank mrs. davis and her staff for their contributions in support of this process. i particularly appreciate the active, informed and dedicated subcommittee members supported by the professional staff. their recommendations and priorities are clearly reflected in the defense authorization act for fiscal year 2014. i urge all my colleagues to support this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from california, mrs. davis, the ranking member of the personnel subcommittee. the chair: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for three minutes. mrs. davis: thank you. i want to thank my colleagues on the committee for working together to bring forward a good bill. . my thanks, the bill contains a multitude of
6:00 pm
provisions to address the issue of sexual assaults and while it may seem that this year congress focused on sexual assault in the military, the reality is that this committee and its members have been working hard to address this issue that demands our attention for the last several years. and this committee has once again put forward a number of proposals. as much as we would wish that legislation alone will not stop someone from committing a sexual act, we know that is not the case. it will not stop either the fear of retaliation, which prevents a number of service members from reporting a sexual assault. this problem and how we deal with it has to start and end with those who wear the uniform. it is important that we provide them the tools they need to effectively change the system and ultimately the culture, by holding perpetrators accountable
6:01 pm
and commanders and prosecutors to the highest standards, whether through by bystander intervention, climates that do not condone sexual harassment and appropriate prosecutions and command actions, our service members are ultimately the change agents that need to step forward. this bill also focuses on the depend events and families that have sacrificed so much and are the backbone for support of our service members over a decade of war. military families bear the scars of war. i'm pleased the bill includes a number of provisions to support families, including a provision that seeks to track the number of depend events who have taken their own lives by suicide. while the number of suicides of active duty members have increased, we have heard evidence that the same holds true for depend events and the bill seeks to determine if the services can begin to track these individuals as well so we
6:02 pm
can determine the best course of action to also address this critical problem. included are several provisions to address the reserve components, including a requirement that members of the reserve be provided at least 120 days notification of their deployment. we have been in conflict for more than a decade and it's time that the services ensure that when individuals and units are called to throy or if their orders are canceled, they have adequate time to prepare. i would like to mention, mr. speaker, that there is one provision which i think could adversely impact the well-being and discipline of the force. it is a provision that extends protections to actions and speech of service members. in essence, this provision protects an individual who engages in hateful or discriminatory action -- mr. smith: i yield to the gentlelady an additional 30
6:03 pm
seconds. >> and a commander may take action when actual harm occurs. if this language becomes law, a service member could engage in speech and action for as long as desired and the commander could act against the individual. i don't believe that was the author's intent but i believe the language as currently written could be made to be understood in that fashion. while iffer some concerns with some provisions, the overall bill provides benefits to our troops and families and i urge everyone to support it. the chair: the gentleman from oregon reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: i would like to recognize the gentleman from ohio, mr. turner. mr. turner: i'm here to speak in favor of the national defense authorization act and i'm privileged to serve as a subcommittee chairman. i thank the chairman and ranking
6:04 pm
member for their support for the provisions in the bill that go to address the important issue of sexual assault in the military. we were tasked by the ranking member and ranking member to come up with a solution and we worked with the staff and we believe we have put provisions in this bill with the full support on a bipartisan support of the committee that will end the re-victimization of the victim. we have a problem of sexual assault in the military. the perpetrators feel safe and the victims are continuing victimized. it includes provisions from representative heck and noem and sanchez and duckworth. this bill will strip commanders of their authority to dismiss a conviction for a serious offense by a court martial and limits the commander's ability. we go beyond that, this bill says if you commit a sexual
6:05 pm
assault, you are out. if you have inappropriate relationship between a trainor and a trainee, you are out. no longer will it be tolerated for someone to commit a sexual assault and no longer will a victim have to tell that they were forced to salute someone who committed a sexual assault against them. we ask for the department of defense to convene an independent panel with reviewing all of the uniform code of military justice as it applies to sexual assaults and see if there are additional reforms that need to be enacted. i thank my ranking member. we have worked together to make a priority serving our men and women in uniform in the areas of afghanistan. also we have added over $1.3 billion in the president's budget to address operational needs for the war fighter.
6:06 pm
the bill also includes support for the production and in our nation's heavy armored dustrial base by maintaining he abe ram tanks and the unmanned intelligence surveillance aircraft to support the deployed war fighter rather than placing these aircraft in storage. it reduces the wait of war fighter equipment and increase acquisition and options for providing personnel protection and equipment. our subcommittee is very proud to look at all of our aspects in ways to support the war fighter and i thank the chair and the ranking member for their addressing the issue of sexual assault in the military. i yield back.
6:07 pm
the chair: the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cooper. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. cooper: thank you, mr. chairman. ofise in support of the work our subcommittee and i would like to thank chairman rogers for his bipartisan leadership and the members of the subcommittee. i support the many provisions of the bill that strengthen our national security. the bill, for example, maintains a safe, secure and reliable nuclear arsenal while improving oversight of the national security administration, cost assessments and planning. it supports nonproliferation efforts to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons. the bill increases funding for regional assets to protect our deloird forces and allies and important cooperation with
6:08 pm
israel against short and medium-ranged missile threats. it has cleanup activities and the bill supports investments in military and space assets. however, i should report that i do have reservations about several provisions of the bill that i in my opinion undermine national security and waste taxpayer dollars. for example, the bill blocks prudent ent nuclear weapons reductions including new start productions which would strengthen strategic stability. the bill increases funding for nuclear weapons by $220 million over the president's generous budget request. the bill accelerates the funding of the the ground-based defense spending by $250 million and jumps to conclusion about east coast missile defense sites. and finally, the bill changes
6:09 pm
the health and safety oversight undermining nuclear sites elating to work and public protection. and to fire employees without due process. i look to debating the merits of these other provisions in the bill. i thank my colleague from washington state for yielding. the chair: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i yield to the gentleman from alabama, mr. rogers. the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. rogers: i rise in support of h.r. 1960 the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2014. it's important to understand what this bill does and why it deserves our support. for example. it saves the taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars.
6:10 pm
ensures competitive competitors do not gain information because of reliance on commercial sitcom providers. and prohibits missile technology u.s.-russia missile defense generally. iron dome and short range rocket defense systems and provides significant resources above the president's request for other israeli cooperative missile defense systems like arrow 1 and 2. it forces efficiencies and priorityization of nuclear modernization programs in the budget of the national nuclear security administration and initiatives to improve security at the national nuclear security administration. and it streamlines the process
6:11 pm
to terminate d.o.e. employees negligent in their duties like the y-12 site. mr. speaker, i want to thank the chairman for his leadership this year. without him, this process would not have worked nearly as well and i thank my friend and colleague, the ranking member, mr. cooper, from tennessee. i urge my colleagues to support the bill and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from guam, mrs. bordallo. the chair: the the gentlewoman from guam is recognized for two minutes. ms. bordallo: i want to -- say the jo set i have enjoyed working with mr. wittman and chair of the full committee, mr. mckeon and mr. adam smith.
6:12 pm
i thank the committee and professional staff for the many long hours that they have put into getting this bill ready. i rise in strong support of h.r. 1960. this bill works to ensure that our men and women in uniform are well trained and equipped to defend our nation and its allies. although this bill represents the hard work and efforts of both the majority and minority, i want to highlight the need to resolve sequestration. i hope that this congress undertakes serious efforts to finally fix sequestration with a comprehensive solution. we can avoid this problem. i would like to highlight a few important readiness issues. the bill provides a one-year extension of authority for certain pay and benefits to civilian personnel who are forward deployed, performing critical frations overseas and in combat zones. we are requiring g.a.o. to look into how the furloughs of civilian are being implemented
6:13 pm
by the department of defense to ensure they are being implemented and understand the impact omission execution. the bill addresses sustainment issues for two important proment programs, the f-35 and the l.c.s. and we must understand that the costs associated with the sustainment to make informed decisions about the future. the bill contains a provision that will close loopholes that will allow the navy to repair an increasing number of ships overseas and i'm pleased to note that this bill puts real resources into the rebalance of our military toward the asia pacific region haven't the bill takes a commonsense approach and rolls back restrictive language that hampers the obligation and the expenditure of the government japan's funds which is positive for our bilateral
6:14 pm
relationship with the government of japan. the bill continues the house's consistent position of support the realignment of forces in this region. we also -- mr. smith: i yield the gentlelady an additional minute. ms. bordallo: this is the long range strike bomber and virginia-class submarines, all assets that are important to our rebalance to the asia pacific region. however, i am concerned about section 233 in the underlying bill. i appreciate the intent of this provision. we do need to ensure the defense of our allies in east asia. yet this provision unduly restricts our combatant commanders to provideing support or supporting allies in other areas. the provision is unnecessary and it impacts our military readiness and i hope the rules committee will make my amendment
6:15 pm
in order to improve the provision. i thank my colleagues and i urge all my colleagues to support this vitally important bill. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: i yield to the gentleman from virginia, mr. forbes. . . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. forbes: with chairman mckeon's and ranking member smith's leadership, i believe this provides the right authorities to represent our resounding and unequivocal support for those men and women who place their service above all things. we could all learn from their service and devotion. as for the subcommittee mark, i continue to be concerned about both the size and composition of our navy's fleet. in the 30-year shipbuilding plan, the administration has indicated a requirement of 306
6:16 pm
ships. the 2010 independent panel indicated a requirement of 346 ships. unfortunately the navy proposed a reduction of the fleet to 270 ships in just the next year. various outside experts indicated if we continue to support our current level of shipbuilding investment this efleet would be reduced further to 240 ships. if this -- this is simply unacceptable. given the budget budget cuts of the past four year which i opposed, i think this bill does a good job of reversing negative trends and takes a step in the right direction by authorizing eight combat ships and ensuring we retain and modernize our current fleet to the end of their service life. i remain pleased with the direction of our projection forces this bill provides strategic air force investments in terms of both the k.r.-468 tanker program and the long range striker bomber. these are critical capabilities that need to be nurtured
6:17 pm
carefully. it also includes cost-saving initiatives that provide the navy and air force with the ability to procure d-2-d hawkeye and other aircraft using multiyear procurement authority. these legislative provisions alone are expected to save taxpayers over $1 billion. as i look to the future i believe it's essential to ensure strategy drives our debate. i hope that we've gone a long way to reverse these negative trends. i think this bill does a good job of supporting our forces and i would urge my colleagues to support this bill. i thank my colleague and friend mike mcintyre, my ranking member, and our hardworking staff for their efforts in producing this bill and with that, mr. chairman, i yelled back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. >> mr. chairman, could you let us know how much time is left? the chair: the gentleman from washington has 12 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from california has 11. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i yield three minutes to the
6:18 pm
gentlelady from massachusetts, ms. tsongas, the ranking member on the oversight and investigation committee and has done fabulous work on the sexual assault provisions in this bill. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. ms. tsongas: this year's mdaa takes unprecedented steps to address sexual assault in the military. i want to thank chairman mckeon, ranking member smith, congressman wilson and congresswoman davis for including these provisions in the bill. i'd also like to thank my co-chair of the military sexual assault caucus, congressman mike turner. in recent months we have seen reports rise, military commanders and supervisors abuse their authority, and officers in charge of sexual assault prevention efforts allegedly commit the crimes they were sworn to stop. this is a systemic problem and the ndaa takes real, consequential actions in response. this ndaa begins to reform the
6:19 pm
pow over a military commander, the first major bipartisan effort in decades to make such a significant change on the command structure. commanders will no longer have the authority to dismiss court-martial convictions for serious offenses including sexual assault. and they are prohibited from reducing guilty findings for serious offenses. it maybe shures that those convicted of sexual assault will at a minimum be dishon rah pli discharged or dismissed. this bill continue ours foush provide victims of sexual assault with access to legal counsel which is a critical step in the process of creating an environment that encourages victims to report these crimes and in bringing those responsible to justice. these and others are significant reforms that offer considerable momentum toward changing the deeply rooted and flawed culture that has allowed these crimes to pervade our armed forces. we are making progress but there is a long way to go.
6:20 pm
last year's bill established a nine-member independent review panel to evaluate the systems used to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate sexual assault crimes under the uniform code of military justice. the members of the panel are just getting to work now and their input, one year from now, will be invaluable in making sure that congress continues its work to make the best reforms possible and end the scourge of sexual assault. i look forward to continuing to work with the many members in both chamber the victim who was bravely come forward and the committed military leaders who are all meaningfully contributing to this debate to mike schauer this issue can never again be disregard or ignored. i also want to take a moment to highlight the important work that this bill advances to develop superior lightweight body armor for our service members. while the ceramic plates which are service members and certain to their tactical vests have prosthride requisite level of protection in iraq and after
6:21 pm
began stab, they are unfortunately still too heavy and are causing an epidemic of muss cue low skeletal injuries among service members which we'll be paying for years to come. ndaa focused on armor for female service members as the armor fit poorly. >> i yield the gentlelady 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. tsongas: and body armor that wasn't fit for -- fitted for female members left them in danger in the field. i believe this is an important step and i think air land subcommittee chair turner and ranking member sanchez for their work on this matter. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back tfment the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. >> i yield three minutes to my friend and --
6:22 pm
mr. mckeon: i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from california, mrs. roby. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. roby: i'd like to thank my chairman and ranking member, and all the chairmen and ranging members for the work that's gone into producing this bill this bill provides for our military men and women in uniform and their families while ensuring our war fight verse the necessary equipment and provisions to continue to ensure our nation's security. i'm honored to chair the oversight an investigation subcommittee of the house armed services committee. i am pleased to have as my colleague and ranking member ms. tsongas of massachusetts. the world has changed tremendously in the past decade. it remains a dangerous place but in new and challenging ways. and for this reason, h.r. 1960 takes into account the threats this nation faces today and the forces that we must maintain in
6:23 pm
response. the members of the house armed services committee are united in the belief that we must not hollow the days of a military decried 30 years ago. h.r. 1360 addresses part of our military's readiness crisis, it awe lo -- allows plane it is take flight, ships can sail and our military can train at the pace and scope that is necessary. r. 1960 also ensures that as afghan forces assume an incredibly large role in afghanistan's defense, preserving the safety and security of afghan women will be among our priorities. it includes important provisions so the department of defense understands the lessons of benghazi and organizes forces to prepre-collude or better respond to a similar attack. this year's national defense authorization act maintains that the detention facility in
6:24 pm
guantanamo bay is being funded, operated and managed properly and also provides the necessary guidance relating to iran, north korea and syria. i am proud to represent two distinguished military installations, maxwell air force base and fort reuttiger. i'm mindful of the role these and other installations around the world play in ensuring the defense of this great nation. in light of the strong provisions included in h.r. 1960 and the collaborative, bipartisan sentiment on which it rest, i join my colleagues in urging support for the national defense authorization act. thank you, mr. speaker and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from california reserves, the wrelt from ashington. >> i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. andrews: i thank my friend for yielding and i'd like to thank and congratulate him and
6:25 pm
chairman mckeon and their outstanding staffs for first rate work and leadership on this issue. this bill is an example of a properly resourced and properly thought out plan that would serve the interests of those who serve us. as we meet tonight, there are america's best sons and daughters stationed around the world in dangerous and often lonely places who are defending our freedom and doing us proud every single day. i do believe this budget plan is one that gives them the tools and the support that they need and it has many good things to recommend it. but i wish it were actually oing to take effect. because the fact of the matter is, unless this congress acts, this plan will never take effect. instead it will be about $50 billion shy of the resources that we're going to debate and vote on this week.
6:26 pm
mr. speaker, i think the whole house would be well served by following the example by which this legislation was put together. led by chairman mckeon and mr. smith, there was open, transparent, substantive dialogue throughout this process. members on both sides of the aisle met for, my goodness, was it 16 hours, 18 hours? it seemed like longer. and any idea that any member had was brought to the body, it was vigorously debated and either approved or disapproved. and there was an open process that led to a good piece of legislation. this is exactly the opposite of what we've done in the sequestration problem. there have been backroom meetings, there have been, you know, high level discussions and absolutely nothing has happened. this, frankly is a bipartisan responsibility to a national problem. i think that what is incumbent upon us doing here is that the
6:27 pm
budget that is passed this chamber and the budget that has passed the other body should be brought to a conference and our body should select our conferees, i'm sure the other body will select its, and they will thrash out this process and i hope come to a resolution of this mindless, harmful sequestration process. about a third of our navy and air force planes aren't flying training missions. because of sequestration. there's intelligence training for intelligence units throughout the services not being done because of sequestration. important research and development, deferred maintenance on our capital stock, isn't being done because of this problem. we have spent hours in this chamber accusing each other of whose fault it is that we're in this box. i fankly think the american people are tired of hearing whose fault it is and are ready to see this problem resolved.
6:28 pm
the way to resolve this problem is to do what the leaders -- i would ask for 30 more seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. mr. andrews: the way to solve this problem is to emulate the example that chairman mckeon and mr. smith have given us. have a fair, transparent, open process, debate the issues. make some difficult choices. there are other difficult choices you have to make because of the amendments that are forthcoming. when the members are given the chance to act in regular order, we can solve problems. let's have that full and open debate on sequestration and someday, the plan we're going to pass this week will actually take effect. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague, a member of the armed services committee, the gentlelady from south dakota, mrs. noem. the chaplain: the gentleman -- the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. mrs. noem: thank you, and i thank the chairman for leading on this very important bill we
6:29 pm
have on the floor today. the number is staggering, 26,000. that's how many military members were sexually assaulted last year alone. and thousands more were unwilling to come forward. since 2010, there has been a 35% increase in military sexual assaults. this is a disturbing trend that meeds to be stopped and i would like to thank the chairman for working with me and for many other members on the committee to do just exactly that. there's no doubt that our military is the strongest and most capable force in the world, the men and women who voluntarily step up to serve and to defend this country no full -- know full well they will be called potentially to serve in times of danger but they should never under any circumstances feel threatened in one another's presence. for many, the military is an extension of family and nothing hurts more than being hurt or let down by one of your own. last week, the house armed services committee passed the
6:30 pm
2014 national defense authorization act by an overwhelming vote of 59-2. i was proud to support the bill in committee. it takes important steps to atres the rise of sexual assault in our military, including several provisions that i authored. these provisions will improve military sexual assault investigations. they will also standardize sexual assault prevention training programs and require the fonge increase scrutiny of those selected that will fill sexual assault prevention positions in the military. necessary reforms that immediate to get done. for years, lawmakers and military officials and civilians alike have discussed a need to bring an end to sexual assault. i see a real opportunity with this bill to put those words into action. it's time to say wongs and for all that sexual assault ends now. we need to ensure there are adequate protections in place that encourage the reporting of sexual assault without fear of
6:31 pm
reprisal. we must provide support for victims and swift punishment for those responsible. yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from connecticut, mr. courtney. mr. courtney: i rise in support of h.r. 1960 and i congratulate the chairman, ranking member and committee staff for a process that was really a breath of fresh air in this congress, a long meeting, lots of hot debates and passionate debates and opportunities for the polarization that dominates this congress, but we had a strong vote 59-2, obviously bipartisan and we came together as a committee to make sure that core functions of the government, our national defense are going to be
6:32 pm
advanced. in particular, i want to focus on a moment in the bipartisan in the sea power subcommittee to support our ship building capacities. two virginia-class submarines and restore a boat that had been removed. this measure continues investment in critical undersea capabilities such as the sspn fleet. in particular and the bill supports construction of eight battle ships, for littoral ships and continued work on new aircraft carrier. to put that in context, the build rate in 2006 was only four it was ships, in 2008, three 3. as we heard firsthand, a robust ship building plan is the best way to ensure that our taxpayers
6:33 pm
are getting ships with the blocked grant fixed-priced model. i know this is an issue that our panel will look at closely nfment 2011 in libya, we saw the value of a strong naval force ere operation odd essie dawn d using ships and tomahawk missiles. we finished up the work. this is critical to the refocus of our naval and strategic plan in asia pacific and the middle east. we need a strong ship building plan and naval force structure which this bill will provide strong resources, again far greater than in past years. i want to close by saluting the chairman's tremendous work and his staff in terms of making sure that both sides of the aisle came together to protect core functions of our government
6:34 pm
which the sea power subcommittee in particular will advance. with that, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: i yield two minutes o the gentlelady from indiana, war lorski. mrs. walorski: i thank the chairman for his tremendous leadership in crafting a bill that brings solutions to combat solutions to sexual assaults. this encourages victims to step out of the darkness. the provisions identifies reports of sexual assault as a form of communication under histle blower protections. sexual violence has reached epidemic proportions and eroding
6:35 pm
the foundations of trust. i had the privilege to visit our troops in afghanistan and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the finest military. hearing their concerns on this issue typifies the horrific reality of this situation. there are 28,000 cases of sexual assault with 3,600 victims reporting. those who have been assaulted resulted in retaliation. this is not a test to the victims and real-life faces of this problem. we are talking about our sons and daughters. we are talking about our brothers and sisters. in indiana, a brave woman an air force veteran came forward to share her own story of repetitive sexual abuse. after being raped, she reported the incident to the air force. her description of the reporting process was chilling.
6:36 pm
whistle blower protections like what i'm talking about today will create an environment for safe reporting so victims can come forward and demand justice. for the troops who have been victimized and the countless americans who want to serve, i ask that we do the right thing. it's time for this congress to do the right thing and it's time for this congress to act. i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill and the thoughtful reforms contained within. thank you and i yield back my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: i yield the balance of our time. i want to emphasize how important this piece of legislation is and the work that goes into it and the all the members have said, this is the way legislation is supposed to work. it really does work when you do the legislative process, when you have committee hearings and debate amendments and put together a product and remind folks how important this piece
6:37 pm
of legislation is. it funds and supports our military in providing for the national security of this country. it is critically important that we pass it and get it done. i do also, however, want to emphasize the point that mr. andrews made and that is unfortunately unless we do something about sequestration, this bill is going to be largely undone, taking $50 billion out of this budget in a meat-axe fashion will not be helpful. we have to do something about sequestration if we are going to be able to protect this process. i urge the full body to follow the armed services committee, get together and work out a bipartisan solution to ensure to protect this work and not just the national security. sequestration obviously affects all parts of government in a very, very negative way, infrastructure, health care, education. i would urge us to deal with that. i thank the chairman and i thank all the members and staff for
6:38 pm
their great work they have done inputting together this bill and i urge support. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from washington yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: how much time do we have remaining? the chair: 4 1/2 minutes. mr. mckeon: i would like to thank mr. smith. this is our third bill that we have worked on in this -- in these positions and i think we have become better friends over the years. we understand each other. we know that at times will have disagreements. i have to confess, i have been married now 50 years and my wife and i have had a couple of disagreements. i was always wrong. and she's stood by me and we have had a great relationship. and we have a great relationship working in this committee.
6:39 pm
likewise, our staff. i think they have won yeoman's work to get us to this point and our chairman and ranking member of the subcommittees here today. i have to agree with mr. smith on the sequestration. we all understand that this is bad for our nation. we voted on it, those of us who did, knowing that understanding that it would be -- that it would never happen. well, reality set in and it happened. i have had a few people come to me and say sequestration isn't that bad. they really haven't seen the full impact to this point. we are just starting into the first year of sequestration and was meeting with general --
6:40 pm
our new european commander and he is just a month into his new job and he's starting to feel the sequestration. and i think what we need to understand and i talked to each of our military leaders as they came in and secretaries as they came before our committee for the hearings that led up to this bill that fr something doesn't happen between now and september 30, all of this work, everything that we're working on is as mr. smith has pointed out, going away. we are cutting $487 billion out of defense over the next 10 years. that's in the bill. we also through sequestration, cut another $500 billion out of defense over the next 10 years. that is not reflected in the -- in this year's portion is not reflected in this bill.
6:41 pm
our budget committee in the house passed a budget and they kept the top-line number from the budget control act of $967 billion and gave us additional money for defense, which we have used in this bill, but if we aren't able to resolve the differences in this bill between ourselves and the senate on september 30, it will be like cinderella and that magic shoe. everything goes away. the carriage becomes a pumpkin and it's bad times. and we have got to deal with that. we've got to deal with raising the debt limit. and there are a lot of very serious things on the table. so i would encourage all of our colleagues to join in the debate tomorrow. we had a great debate in committee. we had differences. we talked about them.
6:42 pm
we didn't get personal. we came out with a vote of 59-2, because everybody on this committee understands how important our work is, how important our national defense is, how important the men, women and their families in uniform are. and we stand behind them. now we do need to make sure that we have the resources that they need. with that, mr. chairman, i would encourage all of us to support this bill tomorrow. join in the process. make it a better bill if we can. and with that, i would yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the committee rises. the chair: the committee of the whole house on the state of the union having had under consideration h.r. 1960 directs
6:43 pm
me to report that it has come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house reports that the committee has had under consideration h.r. 1960 and has come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> address the house for one inute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. collins: you know what, we have said to unending and passed the budget. we said no to the largest tax increase and repealed obamacare and demanded answers from the internal revenue service and
6:44 pm
four are dead in benghazi and we will not rest. we have said to the tax more, spend more, job-killing machine that is crushing the american spirit and our economic growth. we replaced regulations with reform. we restored transparency and trust. we are giving our nation a reason to believe our children won't be looking for a job. america was founded by patriots who said no to the tyrannical government. and america's future rests in the hands of those that will carry on the torch of freedom. america's future rests in the hands of those who are sometimes willing to say no. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york, for what purpose do you rise? >> ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman has the floor.
6:45 pm
mr. tonko: people have been organizing to meet the change. they have been partnering to meet the needs of an agricultural sector in a warmer climate. farmers will need new plant varieties. a longer growing season will open new possibilities for growing new crops. the timing for planting and fertilizing will change. test% will be different. climate change can be approached with a positive perspective for agriculture but only if we plan now to take advantage of new opportunities and prepare for the transition. so where are we as a body on this issue? we should be talking climate change and taking into into -- taking it into account as we move a new farm bill forward. we should be taking action to
6:46 pm
adapt our infrastructure and economy to these changes. but there is no discussion or action on this crucial issue. change is under way. we have little time to lose. we can meet this challenge, slow down the rate of change, adapt to the new conditions and take advantage of new opportunities but only if we begin today. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the speaker pro tempore: are there other requests for one-minutes. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. ms. lee: i am truly honored tonight to anchor the special order on the farm bill. on behalf of the congressional progressive caucus. and i just want to thank our co-chairs, congressman keith ellison and congressman raul grijalva, for their tremendous leadership and for giving us the opportunity to really speak to the american people once a
6:47 pm
week about what is truly taking place here in washington, d.c. as the co-chair of the out of poverty caucus, which we founded actually during the bush administration and now chair of the -- chair of the new democratic whip task force on poverty, let me highlight how tryly important it is to continue to support programs that lift americans out of poverty. even as our economy slowly recovers, income inequality continues to grow. unfortunately, too many people who are working are poor and they're living on the edge. immaterial to take a moment now and just yield a few minutes to my colleague, the co-chair of the progressive caucus and i will return and complete what i have to say but i know he has to leave and i'd like for him to be able to engage in this discussion at this point. mr. ellison: i want to thank the gentlewoman from california, barbara lee, who has been leading this country for years on the question of economic justice, civil rights,
6:48 pm
uman rights, this issue of supplemental nutrition assistance program, also known as food stamps, is critical. we have a farm bill that contemplates $20 billion cut in the food stamp program and i think it's just important that americans know just a few basic things about the food stamp program. one is that many people on food stamps have jobs, work every day. these folks work hard, work in jobs that pay so little that they don't have enough money to make it without some assistance. but these are the people who probably are making sure that the office build wegs go into are clean and sanitary. these are the folks who prepare fast food. these people are the folks who make sure that we have some --
6:49 pm
that we're safe. some of the security guards making low wages. in fact in 2010, 41% of snap recipients lived in a household with earnings, that means 41% for earning some income, but they still didn't earn enough to make a go of it. so the idea that food stamps promote dependency is wrong. in fact, what food stamps do is provide enough food for families to make it nearly half of whom are working a job. it's also important to bear in snap too, that 76% of households include a child, a senior citizen, or a disabled person and about 45% of snap recipients are in fact children. the reality is, is that if you have a problem with snap, then you know, we're not, we're
6:50 pm
talking about children, seniors, disabled people, three quarters of whom are -- are those households that receive snap. it is also true there are some single adults who get snap and i had the chance to meet one on monday and this young fellow, 19 years old, he had been rooking for work, going from place to place, and he hadn't eaten in a few days and actually got so dizzy that he fell. his friends picked him up, got him some supplemental food quickly and then he somehow got into the snap program but when i looked in the eyes of this young fellow, i didn't see somebody who didn't want to work, i saw a hard working minnesotan who wanted to make a contribution but who had tough times an was down on his luck for a little while he wanted to work. he is still looking for a job. but the food stamps got him in a position where he could look for the job. and you know, i want to share with you, mr. speaker, and
6:51 pm
congresswoman lee, you know, on monday, my good friend betty mccollum and i were at the state legislateture in st. paul, minnesota. betty represents st. paul, i represent minneapolis. we came together and we listened to some people who really know the firsthand experience. we talked to people from the faith community. pa tri-shah lull of st. paul church of christ. we talked to mariest liss of catholic charities and judith tenbaum of maison. all of them talked about if we cut snap to the tune proposed in the farm bill, the charities they run are already stretched to the limit. and therefore it would be very difficult for them to try to pick up the slack that the government would drop if they
6:52 pm
-- if the government quit. patricia lull of the council of churches -- i said church of christ, i made a mistake, it was down soifl churches, has a slogan, no more hungry neighbors. she talked about 18,200 people seeking assistance from food shelves in minnesota every day and -- which was pretty upsetting and another thing that i'd like to share with the speaker too is there was a woman who spoke, a health administrator, her name was jennifer, she talked about the negative health effects of reduced knew vision -- nutrition access caused by snap cuts. she's trying to describe how so many people who end up in the e.r. or have medical problems, their underlying problem is that they're food insecure or housing insecure. she talked about a woman who was not taking her meds.
6:53 pm
and when they said, well, why don't you take the meds? she said they hurt my stomach. well, why do the meds hurt your stomach? have you eat snn no, i don't have any money for food. she's supposed to be eating regularly and she's not and so she's not taking the meds because they hurt her stomach. getting food literally helps her take her medication. and i just thought to myself, look, you know, what are we doing? richest country in the history of the world can't take care of some people who are having some tough times? bottom line is most people on snap don't use the program forever. some doudes it for a long time but many -- some do use it for a long time but many use it for about a year when they need it. as i said, 41% are working. and i personally don't mind as an american taxpayer helping seniors, children, and people with disabilities have a good, healthy, nutritious meal. so i have to abandon my friends
6:54 pm
now, i'm sorry to have to do that, but i am so proud that we're here tonight saying it's not weakness, you're not some kind of sucker, if you have compassion for your fellow americans who don't have enough food. you're not throwing away money. you're doing something that is absolutely necessary and any compassionate society would have a way to help people who cannot eat and it's simply not the case that our churches, our synagogues, our mosques and our other charities can pick up the slack if the government drops out of helping people who are food insecure. so i'm going to then thank my good friend from california, and just thank you for carrying on this great tradition and we're going to stay there for the folks on snap tonight. ms. lee: i want to thank our co-chair of the progressive caucus, congressman ellis, for his tremendous leadership and that very powerful and graphic
6:55 pm
statement, sharing the stories of people who are struggling just to survive. and so that's what this is really about. the majority of people on snap do not want to be on snap. they want to work, they want to take care of their families and live the american dream. let me yield now to the gentlelady from connecticut, congressman delauro. a member of the appropriations committee, subcommittee on ag, i don't know of anyone who has fought the good fight on behalf of the poor, low income individuals, middle income individuals, the most vulnerable, our seniors, than congresswoman delauro. i want to thank the gentlelady for really staying true to the cause and for being here tonight with us. ms. delauro: thank you so much. it's an honor to join with you. i know where your heart and your head and your courage lie with regard to this issue and we applaud you for your effort with regard to the one caucus around this place who says that
6:56 pm
our goals and our mission is to make sure that people who are poor today, let us help them move out of that being poor, let us help them move into the middle class because in fact they do want to work, they do want to take care of their families, they're not just statistics. and they are people to be upheld and respected and not to be vilified in so many ways that they are today. i congratulate you and your efforts, i'm proud to be here with you tonight and with my colleague, congressman elson and the progressive caucus, for his comments and remarks, i see that we are also joined by our colleague, mr. johnson, thank you for your efforts as well. and as you're talking about the -- what tonight is all about is highlighting severe, immoral cuts that are made to anti-hunger and nutrition programs, particularly the food
6:57 pm
stamp program. that is coming from the house of representatives. in the farm bill that it passed out of committee. everyone knows millions of families are struggling in this economy. across this country. nearly 15% of american households were food insecure in 2010. nearly 50 million americans, over 16 million children are struggling with hunger right now. it is about children. it is about the disabled. it is about seniors. and this is a problem all across this land. my state of connecticut in my district, connecticut statistically is the richest state in the nation because we have fairfield county and summit park, known as the gold coast, very affluent people. but we have such pockets of hunger that in my district, one out over seven are food
6:58 pm
insecure. and i'm tire to have had the commentary on food insecurity. what that means, and my colleague knows this, we've talked about this, it is about being hungry. these folks, one out of seven, don't know where their next meal is coming from. in mississippi, 24.5% suffer food hardship. nearly one in four people, west virginia, kentucky, that drops to just over 22%. one in five. in ohio, nearly 20%. california, just over 19%. the estimates of americans at risk of going hungry here in this land of plenty are appalling. and at times such as this, our key federal food security programs become all the more important. this is especially true of food stamps. our country's most important efforts to deal with hunger here at home and to ensure that american families can put food on the table for their kids. right now, food stamps are
6:59 pm
helping over 47 million americans, nearly half of them children, to meet their basic food needs. they make a tremendous difference for the health and well being of families as our colleague, mr. ellison, pointed out with his example. food stamps have been proven to improve low income children's health, their development, reduce food insecurity and have a continuing positive influence into adulthood. and you know, i've -- i've listened to people talk about waste, fraud, abuse. food stamps also have one of the lowest error rates of any government program. go to the i.r.s., go to defense, go to a crop insurance program and you'll find waste, fraud, and abuse. food stamps are good for the economy. economists agree that food stamps have a powerful positive impact on economic growth. last month, bloomberg ran an article called, and i quote,
7:00 pm
best stimulus package may be food stamps because they get resources into the hands of families who are going to spend those dollars right away. and you know what, most importantly, food stamps are the right thing to do. 99% of food stamp recipients have income below the poverty line. and it is a job of good government to help vulnerable families get back on their feet and in the words of harry truman, and i quote, nothing is more important in our national life than the welfare of our children and the proper nourishment comes first in on -- in attaining this welfare. this is something everyone in washington used to agree on, in the past there's been a strong tradition of bipartisanship on unger and nutrition. from the left and the right, leaders came together. they made a difference. for families who were in need.
7:01 pm
and over the past 30 years of policies that are aimed at debt and deficit redirection, the key programs that help -- reduction, the key programs that helped the most vulnerable among us to get by have always been protected on a bipartisan basis by deep cuts. but the farm bill coming out of the house right now seeks to destroy that tradition. and in the name of deficit reduction, the bill slashes food stamps by more than $20 billion, hurting millions of americans and our economy. they eliminate categorical eligibility. their bill would force up to two million low-income americans to go hungry. their bill kicks 210,000 low-income children from the free school lunch program. it changes the relationship between snap and liheap, to take benefits from more low-income americans and mostly seniors and working families with kids. let's be clear. this has nothing to do with deficit reduction.
7:02 pm
and everything to do with the ideological priorities of a house majority. and ever since the speaker took the gavel, this matter majority has tried to slash -- this majority has tried to slash through the most crucial threads of our national safety net. the ryan budget cut $130 billion from food stamps, mostly by converting it to an inadequate block grant. last year when the house ag committee had to identify $33 billion in 10-year savings from the programs of their jurisdiction, they singled out food stamps for all of the cuts. not direct payments, not crop insurance, just food stamps for the entire cut. it's a terrible policy, it will cause hunger and more health problems. the cuts are lopsided, it's a dereliction of our responsibility to the american people. and of our moral responsibility. let me quote the u.s. conference of catholic bishops.
7:03 pm
they said last year, and i quote, we must form a circle of protection around the programs that serve the poor and the vulnerable in our nation. and throughout the world. and as a catholic leaders -- -- and as the catholic leaders wrote last month and i quote, congress should support access to adequate and nutritious food for those in need and oppose attempts to weaken or restructure these programs that would result in reduced benefits to hungry people. the house farm bill does the opposite. the cuts jeopardize the health and the well-being of america's families. it jeopardizes the growth and development of our children. it jeopardy kieses seniors and it puts -- it jeopardizes seniors and puts at risk disabled americans. in my district yesterday i went to the cornerstone christian hurch in milford, connecticut.
7:04 pm
and the representatives there were the woman who volunteers in their food bank program, reverend stackhouse of the church of the redeemer, lucy nolan of end hunger connecticut, nancy carington, who is the -- nancy, who heads up the connecticut food bank. and a young woman whose name was penny. she had worked all of her adult life. she lost her job. she thought it was going to be easy to get another job and to be able to make her mortgage payments and all of the other financial obligations that she had. in the midst of this financial crisis, she and her husband separated.
7:05 pm
putting the burden of the family on her shoulders. she didn't know where to turn, she couldn't find -- didn't know how she was going to put food on the table, she went to the connecticut food bank. they helped her to be able to access the food stamp program. and that's where she is now. still looking for a job. still wanting to work. enabled her to continue to look for that job. the courage of speaking before this group yesterday and the press and to tell that story of great courage like so many others are telling my colleagues tonight. we do have an obligation. these are not statistics that we're talking about. these are flesh and blood americans. who are looking for a bridge.
7:06 pm
they don't want to be there forever. they want to be able to take care of themselves and their families. it's a genius of the food stamp program, to say in times of need we're there and yes, we rise in the participation when it gets better economically. those numbers drop. we have an obligation to those people, not to the statistics. but to those individuals who look to the federal government that says, in the time of challenge, give me a little help. that's all i'm asking. i don't want everything, i know you don't have all those resources, help me in this hour of need. that's what our moral responsibility is. again, i say thank you to my colleagues for participating, for your steadfastness in dealing with this issue. ms. lee: let me thank the gentlelady for that very
7:07 pm
powerful and in many ways very sad statement. we shouldn't have to listen to you say this in the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world. these stories shouldn't have to be told here, congresswoman. so thank you. also for reminding us, and i know that you're a person of tremendous faith, and there are many in this body who are believers, who have a faith. and who care about the least of these. however, when we look at this $20 billion cut, you have to wonder where the people of faith are and how they understand this script rally, i have to say. so -- scripturely, if i have -- i have to say. ms. delauro: if i could make one more point. in the committee, and people shall be nameless, there was a lot of quoting of scripture when people passed, voted for and passed a $20 billion cut. i think it was one individual
7:08 pm
who said that, in the scripture it says, if you don't work then you don't eat. and i went back to find out what kinds of subsidies from farm programs, that the individual was -- has access to. and quite frankly it's in the millions of dollars. and i'm delighted that this individual can take care of family, but he's doing it with the largess and the kindness, if you will, of the federal government. that doesn't seem to bother the individual at all. but providing food for a child or a senior or a disabled individual is a bridge too far. we need to stop that and we need to call attention to it and the people of this nation need to know what is happening in this institution. ms. lee: absolutely and thank you for that. i want to also remind us tonight
7:09 pm
that -- well, first, i'm on the budget committee also. we had a debate about poverty. and we talked about, and both sides had something to say, thank goodness at least we had a debate. but when it came to looking at the ryan budget and the cuts that were enacted or that would be enacted if the ryan budget passes, i can't for the life of me understand how anyone on the other side who wants to reduce poverty, as they said they do, could support the ryan budget. because it cuts every single government program which lifts people out of poverty, into the middle class, and will actually put more people into poverty if the ryan budget cuts are sustained. ms. delauro: i know my colleague is here to speak. i think and you understand it, but i think people need to know this. i want to take that crop insurance program for a moment. and i'm for crop insurance. i wish it covered people in my
7:10 pm
community, in my state. the cost of the premiums in the crop insurance program, 60% of those costs are picked up by the u.s. taxpayer. that doesn't include administrative costs. there is no income test, no wage threshold, there is no asset test. all of which applies to food stamp recipients. 26 individuals in this nation received at a minimum $1 million in a premium subsidy and they don't have to follow conservation programs, they don't have to do anything. but accept that premium subsidy. and we can't find out who they are because they are protected. you want to look, you want to look at a program where we can get money to deal with the deficit? go there and not hurt poor kids, seniors and the disabled. those folks in that program
7:11 pm
getting at least $1 million are eating high on the hog. they're doing well. and so that's what we have to do. that's what this country needs to know about. and we're a good country. people have good values. and they will turn their back on this effort as well. thank you so much. ms. lee: thank you again very much. and thank you for being with us tonight. making it very clear. let me now yield a few minutes to my colleague from georgia, congressman hank johnson, who has been a tremendous leader on so many issues and he is now, and eeled talk about these bags that he -- and he'll talk about these bags that he brought here to the floor and the food stamp challenge which many of us have mounted which i'll speak to later. mr. johnson: thank you. i'm very happy to participate in this special order, especially with the esteemed women that are here. yourself, barbara lee, and rosa delauro, a person of great
7:12 pm
justice and passion and represents truth and righteousness and tries to do the right thing and fights for those who need a voice to fight for them. and i appreciate you, rosa, for being here and everything that you do, barbara lee. you know, i've said it before, just a tremendous patriot. a wonderful person, a heart of gold. but a fist of steel when it comes to what she believes in. and i deeply respect and honor both of those women. nd today i had the opportunity at the judiciary committee meeting where we were engaged in the war on women, another abortion bill. and i happen to notice that on
7:13 pm
the other side of the aisle, mr. speaker, there were no women on the panel. in fact, i discovered to my horror that there are no women on the judiciary committee period. and here we are in the year 2013 . so on this side of the aisle we've got some great women like from lauro, barbara lee california, and so many others. nancy pelosi, debby wasserman schultz. i can just name them forever. and i just appreciate being able to serve with them. but i tell you, i'm not always out doing a lot of shopping but i had to go shopping today because i decided to take the -- what we call the food stamp challenge. it mandates that we go out and forpend no more than $31.50
7:14 pm
one week's worth of food and so what i did, i'm just coming back from the local safeway. maybe i shouldn't give that name out. because i might have got a better deal at public's, i don't know. but i went to safeway and here is my bill. it is for $29.76. and so i went through the supermarket trying to find a that can th of food get me through. yule -- y'all pardon me for my choice of food, but i had to go ack to my standard quaker oats oatmeal, trying to be healthy. and i've got -- so i can use
7:15 pm
this for breakfast or for dinner but i've got these for breakfast. my home-style waffles. they already have butter in them so i didn't have to buy the butter. did have to come up with some sugar-free -- of course sugar-free syrup. got that. i was pleased to find oscar mayer bacon on sale, two for $5 and i think it was 99 cents. so i got these two oscar mayer bacons, i didn't mean to get the maple, i meant to get the regular, but anyway, that was -- boom, that was $5, $6. i did some milk and splurge on some tea, i'm sorry. i splurged on some tea.
7:16 pm
some hot dogs and topped it off with some ramen oodles. i used to eat those a lot when i was in college, too. six of those in there. also, i to splurge brought -- bought some bananas. hat all ended up costing $ 29.76. i actually had an overring because i bought two heads of broccoli, we call those heads of broccoli -- but two things of broccoli, i bought those, i had n me over and so
7:17 pm
to go through the indignity of standing there while the cashier called for an overring and they had to come over there and fix that and redo the whole thing and people in line behind you know, ything and people trying to get in and out of the store. they would have looked at me even more funny if i had food stamps to make the purchase and they would wonder why was i eating oscar mayer bacon, because, you know, i'm bush duh -- because -- but this is what i'm going to be eating for the next seven days, starting tomorrow. it's going -- it's going to be a challenge. i certainly won't be eating three meals a day. i will eat in the morning and then i will eat in the evening. , these etween this meat
7:18 pm
starches, that fruit, and this with no h here greens. they had greens at the safeway, but there's some places, they call them food deserts, in the central cities where there is no supermarket so there are no fresh fruits even if i had had the money to buy them. but nonetheless, this is not the most healthiest of diets but it will keep the hunger pangs away, i believe, for a week. and if i were a child living on this and going to school every or i'm not sure how angry
7:19 pm
depressed or how really ready to learn i would be. this is reality. and so i'm looking forward to participating in this, i understand you've done it now for a number of years, barbara, and this will be my first year and i can't say that i've been looking forward to it but i have been getting ready for it. and so with that, i would yield back. ms. lee: let me thank the gentleman for that very powerful statement and also sharing with us what you were able to purchase and also much of what you purchased has high sodium content, as you said, very few fresh fruit and vegetables. but what is just so tragic is that as members of congress, we don't live on this budget each
7:20 pm
and every day, there's an end in sight for us, but for millions of americans, there is no end in sight. this is their existence. so what we're trying to do is make sure that that is no more and that people have the right to eat healthy, nutritious food without worrying about health consequences, without worrying about now the $20 billion which will cut substantially their ability to buy even the kinds of foods that are unhealthy. so thank you very much for being here with us. let me yield to the gentleman from massachusetts who serves on the ag committee, chairs our hunger caucus, and has been a tremendous, consistent, champion on behalf of those who are hungry, not only here but throughout the world, and also fights for food security and i just want to thank him for being with us tonight and thank you for your leadership,
7:21 pm
congressman mcgovern has taken the food stamp challenge many, many times and helped organize all of us here to be focused on what is the real deal as it relates to the least of these. thank you again. mr. mcgovern: thank you again. i want to thank my distinguished colleague from california for organizing this and for her leadership on this and so many other issues aimed to try to eliminate poverty in this country. and i want to thank all of my colleagues to have -- who have already spoken on this issue but you know, i want to come to the floor just to remind people that hunger is a real problem in the united states of america. we have close to $50 million of our fellow citizens who are hungry. 17 million -- we have close to 50 million of our fellow citizen whors hungry. 17 many, many -- 17 million are kids. the richest, most prosperous country in the world and yet 50
7:22 pm
million of our citizens are hungry. what is particularly maddening abthis issue is it is solveable. this is a solveable problem. hunger is a political condition. we have the food, we have the resources, we have the infrastructure, we have everything but the political will to end it. a problem that costs us dearly. you know, people say to me, we can't spend any more money, we have a tough budget situation. i remind them, we can't afford not. to the cost of hunger in this country is astronomical. you pay -- we pay an incredible amount in terms of avoidable health care costs. people who don't eat on a regular basis, their immune systems are compromised they end up spend manager time in a hospital. senior citizens who can't afford their prescription drugs and food take their prescription drugs on an empty
7:23 pm
stomach, end up in hospitals. there's a cost to this. there's a human cost and there's a financial cost. children who are hungry who go to school don't learn. workers who are hungry who go to work lack in productivity. we pay for this. we pay for this. and it is solveable. it is solveable. now, i have come to this floor every week for the last 13 weeks with this sign, ht endhungernow. and i have given a speech every week about what we need to do to end hunger. a different perspective on hunger. i have tried to raise awareness on this issue because there's not a single community in the united states of america, not a single congressional district, that is hunger-free. and one of the tools that we have to combat hunger is the snap program. it is not the answer to everything. it is not a perfect program. but it is one of the tools that
7:24 pm
we utilize to help alleviate hunger in this country. and we are now considering a farm bill next week which quite ex-troird -- which is -- it's stunning to me that rather than being a bill that helps expand opportunities for our farmers and helps alleviate hunger lrk a farm bill that makes hunger worse. the house of representatives is going to consider a bill that came out of the house agriculture committee that cuts snap by $20.5 billion. $20.5 billion. two million people will lose their benefits. hundreds of thousands of kids who qualify right now for free breakfast and lunch at school because their parents are on snap will lose that benefit. and i've had people say to me, you know, those people ought to go out and look if a job. the fact of the matter is that millions and millions and
7:25 pm
millions of people who are on snap right now work. they work full time. but they earn so little they still qualify for this benefit. we ought to have a debate in this congress about ensuring that work pays a livable wage, that when people go to work and they work full time, they ought not have to live in poverty. but that unfortunately is not the reality as we speak. the reality is that there are millions of people who are working, who earn so little that they need this benefit to feed their kids, to feed their families. and as we emerge from this difficult economic crisis, we need to make sure that this safety net is in place. we need to ensure that people have enough to eat. that shouldn't be a controversial issue. and to my republican friends, i would say, you know this used to be a bipartisan issue. i mean, the great, you know, anti-hunger programs that our
7:26 pm
country has, you know, emerged as a result of bipartisan cooperation. in the 1970's, senator bob dole of kansas and senator george mcgovern of south dakota worked together to help strengthen these programs to the point that in the 1970's we almost eliminated hunger in america. we made progress. we came close. then we undid all of this. we turned our backs on those who were struggling. and now we have close to 50 million people who are hungry in this country. that to me is a national scandal. and rather than putting forward a farm bill that makes hunger worse, we ought to be talking about a farm bill that helps solve this problem. i've urged the white house to call a conference or summit on food and nutrition and bring us all together, all the various agencies that have some role in combating hunger, the charity the food banks, the churches, the synagogues, the mosque the
7:27 pm
doctors, the teachers, the nutritionists, the people who are involved in this issue one way or another, let's bring this all together and actually come up with a plan to end this scourge. and we can do this. and we can do this you know, you're not going to solve a problem without a plan and we do not have a plan. but as we wait to develop that plan, let's not take away what is there right now to help keep people from being hungry to literally starving. i mean, when you cut a program like this by $20 billion and by the way a program with one of the most -- one of the lowest error rates in any federal program that we have, i wish one of the -- i wish i could find a missile program that the pentagon has championed that has a lower error rate than the snap program. it would be phenomenal, quite frankly. we would save billions of dollars if the pentagon ran their missile programs as efficiently as this program is run. yet it has been demonized, it's
7:28 pm
been diminished, people have demagogued this program. and what -- all it does is provide people the ability to buy food. that's all it does. and the fact that we would be taking away this safety net at this difficult time is something that i don't think we should do. to my democratic colleagues who are say, we ought to support, even though it's $20 billion of cuts in it, send it to conference and hopefully it'll all get better, don't do that. don't do that. i mean, our party if it stands for anything, we have stood by and for those who are poor, those who are struggling, those who are vulnerable. let's not throw that away. let's not trash our principles. you know. this is not the bill that should be moving forward. not a bill that makes hunger worse. and i also -- i want to also call attention to the fact that i joined with congresswoman lee
7:29 pm
and others, taking this food stamp challenge today and i will remind you that this snap challenge that we took today means that we live on an average snap benefit, which is $1.50 a meal. and it is $4.50 a day. i mean, how much does a starbucks coffee cost? this is what people live on. i hear -- my friend -- critics will say, this is a meant as a supplement, not to be the entire food budget. i'm going to tell you something, thins are tough for a lot of people, this is their entire food budget. in fact, what they do is they utilize this modest benefit and then they go to food banks and they go to their churches and they go to their charities and look for additional food because this doesn't provide enough. and so those of us in congress trying to call attention to the
7:30 pm
fact that this is an important program and by the way it is not an overly generous program, we are doing this snap challenge. some say this is a gimmick, it's a opportunity. -- it's a stunt. we're trying to call attention to a real problem in this country and if you think it's a gimmick or a stunt, you take the challenge. you live on this. for a week. you see how difficult it is. it's hard to be poor. it takes a lot of time to try to make ends meet, to try to put a grocery list together that will get you through the week and we're doing it just for ourselves. imagine doing it when you have kids. i'm the parent of a 15-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl. i couldn't imagine the anguish of wondering whether or not i could put food on the table. this is the united states of america. we should be trying to lift people up, not put people down. let me say finally, none of us here believe that this should be
7:31 pm
a permanent condition. in fact, what we need to do is have a conversation about how to extend these ladders of opportunity for people so they can climb out of poverty. so they won't need this. so they can be on their own. so they can have a job. and that's why so many of us have been complaining about the fact that we have a lot of debates here on the floor, a lot of bills, but we don't seem to have many bills that deal with job creation. that's the answer. that's the answer. you want to get people off of snap, give them a job that pays a livable wage. that pays a livable wage. i'll just say in conclusion that i appreciate the opportunity to be able to highlight this issue. you know, and i -- and i'll tell you, i have spent an awful lot of time as co-chair of the house hunger caucus meeting with people who are struggling in this country. and meeting with families who have kids who are hungry.
7:32 pm
you meet a child who is hungry, it breaks your heart. you can't get it out of your mind. and that there are hungry children in this country, in this country, is something that should not be. and so i would urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, let's come together and reject these cuts in the farm bill. reject these cuts in snap. and let's try to figure out a way to restore those moneys so that people will not go without. and then let's have a farm bill we can be proud of. f we cannot reverse the 20ds.5 billion in cuts in snap, then there's no way we should support that farm bill. there's no way. republicans and democrats should join together and say no. we're not going to support a farm bill that makes hunger worse. so i appreciate this opportunity and i look forward to working with the gentlelady from california and others in trying to find ways to make sure people in this country have enough to
7:33 pm
eat. but also make sure we develop a plan to help people transition off of this assistance, so they can be independent and productive like all the people we know who are struggling want to be. so i thank the gentlelady and i yield back the balance of my time. ms. lee: thank you very much. i want to thank the gentleman from massachusetts for that very powerful and clear presentation. but also for what you do each and every day for the last 13 years. this is part of your life's work. and so thank you very much for not only talking about why we need to not cut the $20 billion, but also why we need to build these ladders of opportunity. so that people can get a good-paying job and lift themselves out of poverty. congressman mcgovern mentioned the food stamp challenge that many of us are taking. congressman johnson also, our congressional black caucus chair, marcia fudge, congresswoman jan schakowsky, mr. crowley and approximately 25 members will be taking part in this food stamp challenge, in
7:34 pm
addition to who will speak next, our congresswoman from the district of columbia, congresswoman eleanor holmes norton. because we need to raise the level of awareness of what is taking place, not only here in washington, d.c., in this body, but in the district of columbia where we all have to thank congresswoman norton, who is our representative during the week, and we need to make sure that we recommit ourselves to fighting hunger, fighting poverty and to not voting for this ag bill if the $20 billion cut remains. so, congresswoman norton, thank you so much, thank you for allowing us to be at your grocery stores today and to work with people in your district, to really see and understand exactly what's going on here in the district of columbia. ms. norton: i thank the gentlelady from california for her consistent heartfelt,
7:35 pm
energetic leadership on this issue for so many years. and i see the gentleman from georgia is here. i'm so pleased that he brought down his stash for the week. i had to ask him, did you really get those bananas? and he budgeted so well that he was able to stay within the $31 for the week. now, we've done this before and i can tell you it's not pleasant, if you're really adhering to this budget. but we had an effect before. we were able to not only keep the cuts from occurring but we were able to raise the level for those on food stamps. i was interested to hear the gentleman from massachusetts talk about the low error rate, something like 3%. i just sat through a committee hearing this morning and the discussion was about how much , te and fraud there was
7:36 pm
reported, in the 2011 report from afghanistan, from the wars in afghanistan and iraq. and they reported that about 30% was attributed to waste and fraud and here we have four people -- poor people in a program with the lowest error rate i've seen in a long time. i want to thank all of the members who visited at our -- what i will call our neighborhood capital -- neighborhood capitol hill, where we had the help of employees and where -- who helped guide us toward the least expensive food. what we're talking about here is the house outdoing the senate. now, the senate bill already cuts $4 billion. the house wants to up that five times. how much damage can we do and sit up straight and feel that we are worthy to be in the congress
7:37 pm
of the united states? we succeeded because of the stimulus in raising the amount $1.40 per day, an amazing number, to $4.50 a day. when i was going down the aisle, one of the clerks said to me, don't you want to get some water? i said, god, go to the spic et, please. don't buy water. i hope people are not buying water on the food stamp challenge because you'll have to eat it. water is very expensive. we're talking about, we believe that at least 20 million children will be affected and 10 million of them are labeled in deep poverty. these people are going to be off the rolls altogether. the reason they're on it at all is because in our wisdom food stamps, snap, has become an
7:38 pm
entitlement. there's some on the other side that want to take that away from them. i don't know where people would be. what people have at least been able to do is eat. and let me tell you about eating. the calculation is that this amount lasts you about 2 1/2 weeks. if you're eating anywhere near what you should be on $4.50 a day, it's going to last you, according to all the statistics, 2 1/2 weeks, what do you think people do the rest of the month on a month's worth of food stamps, that last 2 1/2 weeks? they go to the pantries. they go and get the rest of what they need handed to them in the pantries, which is why the pantry's cub boards are bare. they're begging for food to come because so many people are coming to the pantries because food stamps cannot sustain a family.
7:39 pm
these are the poorest of our people. so, all we're trying to do is just try to raise the consciousness really right here in the house of representatives. if we got even where the senate was, that would mean hundreds of thousands of people off of food stamps that have no other sustenance. and it's as if people sometimes say, well, what more can we do to people on food stamps? it seems to me the person who has hit bottom and that's something that's in the senate certain keeps ex-convicts from receiving food stamps for life, now, wait a minute. i understand -- and then they live certain kinds of violent crimes and so forth and it's easy to get everybody worked up about giving them any food. if this is what you want to do to them, why don't you give them a life sentence and leave them
7:40 pm
in jail where they'll be fed three meals a day? but this means that if you committed one of these crimes and they do mean only murderers, rapists or pedophiles, so these are not who anybody will speak up for, even if it was a single crime, even if it was decades ago, even if you've been doing well exempt if you committed one of those crimes you're not doing well perhapses so that you do not need food stamps, not only you would not have food stamps, but the family allotment would be decreased by you. what are we trying to do? by the way, don't they say they have a lot of christians on the other side of the aisle? christian conservatives. where are they? where are they? those are the people that jesus would have reached out to and said, let me feed you, because nobody else will. i just don't think that when you hit people with their -- when
7:41 pm
they're down as low as they can get, you ought to be proud of yourselves as a congress. we even find among low-income workers, if i could just make one point, most of them try to keep from getting on food stamps and you have some states going out and saying, i think instead of letting -- instead of going hungry, you might want to -- and depending entirely -- these are low-income people who work on the pantries. i think you're entitled to snap. we have people in the streets here in the district of columbia , just last month, who work in these iconic buildings, federal buildings, for retail and they work for -- some of these are great, big retailers like your fast food people, pay them the minimum wage with no benefits, guess who pays? those who in fact have knowledge come and supplement these low-income with food stamps.
7:42 pm
and guess where they get their health care from? you and me, the taxpayers. why are we allowing people to pay people so little that they depend upon the taxpayers to make up the rest? so, my good friend from california, i say to you, thank you for taking your usual leadership here and particularly your leadership on this snap challenge. don't feel sorry for us, we have plenty to eat. before and after. it doesn't begin i think until the 13th, for a week. we ask only that you think deeply about those who whether he represent on this snap challenge and i yield and thank the gentlelady from california. ms. lee: let me thank the gentlelady from the district of columbia first of all for working day and night on behalf of the residents of the district of columbia. secondly, for really laying out additional impacts and how this
7:43 pm
$20 billion cut, and what the bill will actually do in a very negative way. i mean, the whole -- all of the issues that you raised, many people don't even know, are in the bills. so, that's why we try to beat the drum a little bit down here on the floor and you certainly have awakened america in terms of what some of the really critical issues are in this bill. so thank you again for your leadership and your friendship. let me just -- how many minutes do i have left, mr. speaker? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady has three minutes. ms. lee: let me just conclude before i yield a minute to the gentleman from georgia. now, i am a former food stamp recipient myself. of course i'm not proud of that. but i am. i didn't talk about it for a long time because of the stigma associated with being on public assistance and on food stamps. but i decided a couple of years ago when we started to see these
7:44 pm
tremendous cuts and assaults on these safety net programs to really talk about my personal experience. now, -- and i was going to college, raising two small little boys who are phenomenal young men now, raising their own families, but it was very difficult, very difficult. i would not be here if it were not for the lifeline that the american people extended to me when i was a single mother struggling to care for my kids. no one wants to be on food stamps. i did not want to be on food stamps. everyone wants a job. everyone wants to take care of their kids and their family. but there are bumps in the road sometimes. and the economy hasn't turned around for a lot of people. and so that bridge over troubled waters, that needs to be there, you know, that needs to be there. and so i hope that democrats and republicans reject these cuts. we need to stop sequestration. we need to start creating jobs
7:45 pm
and build these ladders of opportunity for people. and i hope, and many of us hope that the president will veto this bill if it gets off this floor, with this $20 billion cut. because, first of all, it's morally wrong, it's fiscally irresponsible, it will hurt our economy and we need to lift people, build these ladders of opportunity and lift the economy for all. let me now yield to the gentleman from georgia for a oncluding statement. -- ishop: thank you mr. johnson: thank you, barbara lee, and thank you eleanor i'm one of your constituents, at least during the week but i'm a d.c. native,
7:46 pm
i had to move to georgia before i could get to congress. but i'd like to discuss two major implications of climate change for the department of defense. first clirke mat change will shape the operating environment , roles, and missions the department undertakes. it may have sig cabot geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to greater competition for more limited and critical life sustain regular sources. while the effects of climate it, alone may not cause it will add to instability in parts of the world. sec the department needs to adjust to the impacts of climate change on its facilities and infrastructure. with that, after pointing out we're spending $3 billion on an east coast missile defense system which is totally unnecessary, $3 billion -- i
7:47 pm
yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expire this egentlelady's time has expired. ms. lee: snap works, thank you. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy, the gentleman from nebraska, mr. fortenberry, to recognized for 60 minutes as the designee f the majority leader. mr. fortenberry: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, tonight's discussion is not about politics, it's not about partisanship, it's about principle. it's about an american ideal. an ideal so common so ordinary that we don't think about it very much. yet this ideal is essential to a well functioning, orderly, just society. in fact, it should define the nature of the relationship between the government and her people. mr. speaker, when a person uses right reason and sound judgment
7:48 pm
, when they believe something is right or wrong, that is a sacred space. that is called conscience. conscience is inextricably intertwined with the inherent rights and dignity of all persons. it is therefore only just that governing authority have the highest level of sensitivity to upholding and protecting the american's free exercise of eeply held, reasoned briefs. i want to read two emails i received this constituents back home. katie, from nebraska, says this to me. she says, quote, please do everything in your power to ensure that our hospitals, service agencies and universities are allowed to carry out their work unhindered by laws that go against their conscience. i do not want to see good agencies and businesses shut
7:49 pm
down because they were forced to choose between the law and their conscience. karen wrote to me and said this, as a woman's health practitioner and as a catholic, i need the ability to stay within my faith boundaries. i would be unable to work if i was required to provide the services this h.h.s. mandate has imposed. now mr. speaker, what are they talking about? what are they referring to? let's take a few moments and unpack the issue here. let's review the multiple layers. the department of health and human service has proposed a rule commonly known as the h.h.s. mandate which will take a full effect this coming august. this mandate authorized by the 2010 health care law known as obamacare would require all health care plans to cover in full and consequently every american to subsidize procedures and drugs that many
7:50 pm
americans consider to be ethically divisive. americans who cannot in good conscience comply with this mandate will now be subject to rues now finds if -- fines if they do not obey simply for exercising their first amendment rights. exercising their religious freedom. exercising the deeper philosophical principle of the rights of conscience as rightly exercised by reasonable persons doing what they believe to be right, what they believe to be good, what they believe to be just. mr. speaker, i simply find it difficult to understand how we can let this happen, how we got to this place in our country. how we can willfully cross a threshold that republicans and democrats of an earlier, wiser era sought scrupulously to avoid. for the first time in our history, mr. speaker, the new health care law provides the secretary of health and human
7:51 pm
services the discretionary authority to mandate the coverage of drugs and procedures such as abortion-producing drugs. many americans reasonably find these drugs and procedures controversial. in the past times, they were considered to be electived. if a person or an organization didn't want to choose them, they didn't have to. in 1993, congress passed the religious freedom restoration act, a federal law signed into law by president clinton. the religious freedom restoration act ensures that federal officials cannot reach into the private spheres to substantially burden the practice of religion. in view of the many philosophical and diverse religious perspectives in our country that contribute, all contribute, to our vibrant
7:52 pm
civic culture, members of both parties, mr. speaker, worked to pass that important piece of legislation. now, however, we have the h.h.s. mandate. which is clearly an affront to a -- to established law and precedent. conscience protections in health care have always been championed by members of both parties. since senator frank church authored the widely popular church amendment in 1973 to protect objections in conscience to abortions and sterilization. so mr. speaker, what has changed? what has so dramatically changed in this body? we have lost our collective sense of respect for divergent views. we have lost our sense that the government must protect that
7:53 pm
sacred right of conscience and not coerce her citizens into doing something they fundamentally believe is unjust or wrong. while the h.h.s. mandate is arguably a small component of the 2010 health care law, it does bring us face to face with a stark new reality here in washington that we fervently hope will not become the new normal in america. we have recently heard of the discrimination against americans by certain employees at the i.r.s. i.r.s. employees targeting americans because of their religious or philosophical or political leanings. the i.r.s. is the very agency set to implement the new health care law. mr. speaker, a good government must ensure that those in position of authority are committed to two principles, fairness and impartiality.
7:54 pm
these revelations about real jus and political targeting have done much to undermine the public trust. but mr. speaker, the h.h.s. mandate is also a form of discrimination. it primarily targets people in faith communities. the very people who have been the back stop of compassionate care for the poor and the vulnerable and the marginalized in our society today. when the new health care law was under consideration, it was said that if you like your health care, you can keep it. now, however, we are finding out that you may not be able to keep your health care plan. you may not be able to keep your doctor. you may not even be able to keep your own faith traditions. given this governmental threat. mr. speaker, no american should be forced to choose between
7:55 pm
their conscience and their livelihood. no american should be forced to choose between their faith and their job. no american should be forced to choose between their deeply held, reasoned beliefs and the law. it's a false choice. it's un-american. and it's wrong. now i want to thank my colleagues who have joined me tonight to share other stories of americans who are deeply concerned about the impact of this mandate upon them. but who also i think are going to discuss the very purpose of our government which at its core should be to protect the dignity and the rights of every person. beginning with the fundamental right of the reasonable exercise of conscience. mr. speaker, this is not some theoretical debate. this is about the preservation of our way of life. the ability to work as we
7:56 pm
choose, the ability to serve as we see fit. with what should be support from our government. with that said, i'd like to call upon and yield time to my good friend, joe pitts who heads the values action team who has been a stalwart leader for years upon years now for basic protections for the most vulnerable and calling for leadership in the whole arena of human rights. joe pitts is from pennsylvania, he's a vietnam war veteran, flew 116 combat missions in service to our country. joe. mr. pitts: i want to thank the gentleman for his outstanding leadership on this issue that we're discussing tonight, the right of conscience. and i come tonight to the floor with alarm over how this administration is trampling on
7:57 pm
our first amendment rights. freedom of assembly means that americans can come together to petition the government, but the i.r.s. has targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny, throwing up roadblocks to their organization. freedom of the press means that journalists can work on stories without government interference but the justice department subpoenaed multiple telephone numbers for the associated press and investigated a fox news journalist as a co-conspirator. freedom of religion means that the government does not get to tell you to violate your beliefs but obamacare is forcing even explicitly religious employers to provide services they have moral objections to. our freedoms are clearly under assault by government bureaucrats who claim that they know what is best for all americans. over 60 organizations around
7:58 pm
the country, nonprofits an businesses, are suing the federal government to protect their rights. on one -- one of those businesses is located in my district, in lankster county, -- in lancaster county, and for nearly 40 years this family-owned business has made high quality doors and wood components for kitchen cabinets. they provide over 950 quality jobs in my district. the owners have provided good health insurance that comports with their mennonite beliefs for their employees but now they are being coerced into providing government approved health care required to pay for products that include abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization. anthony hahn, president and
7:59 pm
c.e.o. of conestoga wood specialties said this, quote, being told that we must provide a health plan that includes a provision that violates the christian beliefs of our family and the christian values of our company was -- the christian values our company was founded on is deeply troubling. forcing americans to surrender long standing, deeply held principles in order to own and run a business is not merely troubling but unnecessary and unconstitutional. end quote. and they've gone to court over this. americans should not have to sacrifice their religious rights when they enter the marketplace. >> 34 million a year for not
8:00 pm
providing government-approved insurance, but only $2 million for not providing any insurance at all. this is madness. clearly, this law is out of control. many others are fighting for their rights in court, but here in congress, we have an obligation to defend the constitution. the founding fathers established the bill of rights because they


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on